"We are all indigenous people on this planet, and we have to reorganize to
Indigenous people, the goal for our land is definitely about protection, but it’s
also about use. We see ourselves as so integrated with our territory that our
protection is tied to our use and our use is tied to our protection. We use the
resources on our territory to live.
In every Indigenous
community I’ve been in, they absolutely do want community infrastructure and they
do want development, but they want it on their own terms. They want to be able
to use their national resources and their assets in a way that protects and sustains
them. Our territories are our wealth, the major assets we have. And Indigenous
people use and steward this property so that they can achieve and maintain a livelihood,
and achieve and maintain that same livelihood for future generations.’
In Indian country,
we should probably insist, first off, that our ancestors have never gotten the
credit they deserve from this country for surviving. Survival wasn't as easy then
as it seems now, and they never would have made it if they'd spent centuries wandering
in a daze until they came across a dead buffalo beside a cold spring, with a lightning
strike for fire somewhere in the background. To the contrary, tribes cooperated
with and among each other on everything from buffalo hunts to the fish catch and
crop harvests, none of which could have happened if our tribes had not known all
-- Rebecca Adamson
European explorers 'discovered' lands on the other continents, there were already
people living there. All too often the explorers took the land away from the native
or indigenous peoples and either killed them or suppressed them. In many cases,
the native languages and cultures were suppressed and the natives were forced
to adopt Western ways. Unfortunately, this isn't just a thing of the past -- many
indigenous peoples and their cultures are still threatened today.
-- Robert Alan Silverstein
Since the beginning, Native Peoples lived a life of being in harmony with all
that surrounds us. It is a belief that all humankind are related to each other.
Each has a purpose, spirit and sacredness. It is an understanding with the Great
Spirit or Creator that we will follow these ways. And in this understanding we
believe we are related to all other living species...|
|Although wrongs have
been done me I live in hope. I have not got two hearts… Now we are together again
to make peace. My shame is as big as the earth, although I will do what my friends
advise me to do. I once thought that I was the only man that persevered to be
the friend of the white man, but since they have come and cleaned out our lodges,
horses, and everything else, it is hard for me to believe white men anymore. |
The native American
has been generally despised by his white conquerors for his poverty and simplicity.
They forget, perhaps, that his religion forbade the accumulation of wealth and
the enjoyment of luxury... Furthermore, it was the rule of his life to share the
fruits of his skill and success with his less fortunate brothers. Thus he kept
his spirit free from the clog of pride, cupidity, or envy, and carried out, as
he believed, the divine decree—a matter profoundly important to him.
people lose their land, they have nothing. You lose
your land -- you lose your culture, you lose self.
has ceased to be that delicate flower which was preserved
and painstakingly cultivated in one or two sheltered areas
of a soil rich in wild species […] Mankind has opted for
monoculture; it is in the process of creating a mass civilization,
as beetroot is grown in the mass. Henceforth, man's daily
bill of fare will consist only of this one item.
-- Claude Levi-Strauss
from the tragic lessons of nuclear atrocities experienced
by the Indigenous Peoples we recognize that the testing,
development and use of nuclear weapons is a crime
against all humanitarian law…
us learn from nuclear radiation victims and prevent
history from repeating itself.
role of globalization is to homogenize all cultures,
and to turn them into commodified markets, and therefore,
to make them easier for global corporations to control.
Global corporations are even now trying to commodify
all remaining aspects of national cultures, not to
mention indigenous cultures.
want to be remembered as the person who helped us
restore faith in ourselves."
of the things my parents taught me, and I'll always
be grateful for the gift, is to not ever let anybody
else define me."
I think the most important issue we have as a people
is what we started, and that is to begin to trust
our own thinking again and belive in ourselves enough
to think that we can articulate our own vision of
the future and then work to make sure that that vision
becomes a reality.
We are not myths of the past, ruins in the jungle,
or zoos. We are people and we want to be respected,
not to be victims of intolerance and racism.
Menchu, Guatemala Nobel Peace Prize Winner, 1992
journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. The
collision of short and long food chains strategies are
at the basis of our current crisis. Indigenous peoples
living on their ancestral lands can help industrialized
countries by living in a sustainable manner (not the
contrary). If we destroy their environments and communities,
we will lose the answers they have to solving our problems,
and to the protection of our common futures. The most
complex nuclear power station is less important than
a tropical tree, and the most simple and sustainable
answer more useful than any National Library.
the world today there is a gowing awareness of the failings
of the Western model of development and a corresponding
desire to look for more human-scale, ecological ways
of living. If Ladakh now succeeds in creating for itself
a future which retains the foundations of its traditional
past, it will be an inspiring example of how all the
various elements of an ecological future fit together."
are now facing a difficult situation in Peru, where
there are attempts to cut back the territorial rights
of the indigenous peoples, including moves to divide,
fragment and privatise our communal organisations.
Now more than ever, it is a matter of urgency for
us to consolidate our own indigenous alternatives
forest is not a resource for us, it is life itself.
It is the only place for us to live.
experience in living and working with indigenous people
has given me the hope that I have - they have taught
me concretely that humans have the capacity to be
marvelous, and not destructive.
--Juan Pablo Orrego
the issues that we face are connected. Worldwide,
ecosystems are being destroyed, and indigenous peoples
are losing their homelands and their entire way of
guess you could say that we indigenous peoples are
on the verge of turning it all upside down."
peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their
distinct political, economic, social and cultural characteristics,
as well as their legal systems, while retaining their rights
to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political,
economic, social and cultural life of the State.
-- Article 4, from Draft Universal Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous Peoples (1993)